You may have set some pr’s last year, or you may not have. And now that this is a new year, it’s your year to get faster! (Or even faster!)
Beginning runners may not know that running the same pace over and over again and adding in “junk miles” isn’t going to get you there. You do have to actually run faster to run faster, which sounds a bit ridiculous, I mean of course you have to run faster to run faster. But I don’t mean going all out on race day, I mean building up to it in training. You have to get your body accustomed to going faster during training and the best way to do this is with speed work.
Here are several different ways to incorporate speedwork into your running plan that will get you moving quicker toward the finish line.
-Interval workouts. Here’s a sample workout:
-One warm up lap, slow & easy or walking (400 meters or 1/4 mile)
-Run 400m at your 5k pace (Need a pace calculator?)
-Run 1 lap at an easy recovery pace. Repeat two or three times and try to work up to 5 or 6 times.
Here are some more helpful interval workouts for various levels of runners from beginner to advanced.
-Yasso 800s (Bart Yasso’s workout from Runner’s World.) Basically, if you want to run a 3:30 marathon, you want to be able to run 800 meters (or 1/2 mile) in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. It works if your marathon goal time is longer than that too, for example if your goal time is 4:45, try running the 800 at a 4 minute 45 second pace.
Start out with 4 of these, with a rest jog or walk lap in between each burst, then try to build up to being able to do 10 of them several weeks before your marathon. You should do the Yasso 800s in conjunction with the long, medium and easy runs in your marathon training plan.
-Fartlek! (Really I just love saying that word.) This is running faster in free form, without being stuck on the track or tied to the timer. Start out slow, 5-10 steps of easy running and then race-pace for 25-50 steps with 1 minute of walking in between each burst. Start out with 3 segments of this and build up to 6. Or, if you’re running 60 minutes, mix some bursts of sprints in throughout the run.
Here’s a more structured look at Fartleks from Runner’s Resource:
In his excellent book “Daniel’s Running Formula,” Coach Jack Daniels suggests the following workout when feeling lethargic: Run 10 steps (counting one foot, not both) then jog 10, run 20 and jog 20, run 30 and jog 30, and so on up to running 100 and jogging 100 (or more if you wish). This is a great way to get obtain a good workout when your body simply does not feel like exerting itself.
What are your favorite track workouts? Feel free to share it below for the newbies!